Reading the Art in Caldecott Award Books: A Guide to the Illustrations


Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 0.9 inches | 1.2 pounds

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About the Author

Heidi Hammond, Ph.D has 23 years experience as a school librarian at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and coordinates the school library media specialist portion of the MLIS program at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Hammond served on the 2011 Randolph Caldecott Award Committee (Association for Library Service to Children) that selected A Sick Day for Amos McGee. She was a member of the 2013 Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee (Young Adult Library Services Association) that selected Tamora Pierce. She has also served on the editorial board of SLR-School Library Research (American Association of School Librarians). Gail Nordstrom, M.L.I.S. rediscovered the power and delight of children's books as a youth services librarian for Stillwater (Minnesota) Public Library, where she worked with children, teens, and caregivers for nineteen years. She is currently the public library consultant for Viking Library System in west central Minnesota. She continues to share her enthusiasm for children's literature in workshops and conferences in the state. Nordstrom on the 2011 Randolph Caldecott Award Committee (Association for Library Service to Children) that selected A Sick Day for Amos McGee. She was also a member of the 2002 John Newbery Award Committee (ALSC) that selected A Single Shard. She has organized local Newbery and Caldecott mock discussions for librarians and teachers since 1997. Gail has served as judge for the Minnesota Book Awards and is a member of the Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award Selection Committee.


[T]he insider's perspective on committee work will be of particular value to those professionals interested in serving on a committee as well as to readers who wonder exactly how the decision making process unfolds. . . . .the authors make an effort to look at how style, composition, medium, palette, and other elements work together to successfully fulfill the Caldecott requirement of 'delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood, or information through pictures.'. . . .The 'For Further Consideration' section elaborates on some point brought up in the analysis and sometimes offers an interesting look at the author's creative process...or the publishing process.This will be especially useful to readers who have never thought about picture book art beyond "cute" or "colorful," and it provides a strong foundational vocabulary for analyzing picture book illustrations.
Anyone who has ever wondered what the Caldecott Committee talks about when behind closed doors will want to read Hammond and Nordstrom's fascinating work. This is a valuable collection of analysis and appreciation of many favorite books, and the glossary of art terms is a bonus. A valuable reference.
Give yourself a crash course in Caldecott award winning art. Practical and critical, pair this informative companion with copies of the books for a thorough look at what may have earned the title that shiny sticker on the cover.
Many people have grappled with the question of what truly makes a "distinguished" picture book. Heidi and Gail have merely cracked the code for you, providing insights into the great Caldecott winners that you will find nowhere else.

Reading the Art in Caldecott Award Books is a treasure trove for picture book lovers! Hammond and Nordstrom share clear and perceptive analysis of these award-winning titles, as well as delightful nuggets about how these illustrators think and work. Their thorough research provides rich insights that will strengthen and deepen connections between this literature and the children you share it with.
An invaluable resource, not only for adults working with children, but for writers and illustrators as well. Hammond and Nordstrom provide remarkable insight into the craft and magic of picture book making. I found even more to love about my favorite Caldecott winners and a greater appreciation for those I may have underestimated.
In this wonderful guide to the art of Caldecott winning books, the beauty of the picture book art is the star! A great resource for teachers, librarians, parents and professors who are looking at the significance of "distinguished art" in children's books.
This is a must-have reference for librarians and children's literature enthusiasts. It is also a valuable resource for classroom teachers who wish to integrate award-winning books.